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Filing for Workers’ Comp: What Does “Predesignate” Mean?

When you consider filing a workers' compensation claim, you encounter various legal terms that are important to understand.

The California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) explains how to predesignate for workers' compensation. In some work situations, employees can predesignate their own physicians as the medical practitioners they want to use in case of an injury on the job. However, to do so, there are procedures to follow, including informing your employer in writing about your decision to predesignate prior to your injury. There are three ways to do this:

  • Your own written statement
  • CWC Form 9783 provided by the DWC
  • An employer-provided form

All of these three methods of predesignation must include the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your signature
  • The date
  • Your employer's name
  • Statement designating the name, address and phone number of your physician for any job-related injury treatments

Doctors must be an MD (doctor of medicine) or DO (doctor of osteopathy) who has your medical records and has treated you before. Such doctors are often family physicians, general practitioners, pediatricians, internists or obstetrician-gynecologists. Currently, you cannot predesignate chiropractors or acupuncturists for immediate treatment. You can submit the name of your chiropractor or acupuncturist to your employer in writing prior to injury and, once injured, be examined by the doctor chosen by a claims administrator. Later, you can switch to your chiropractor or acupuncturist.

When filing a workers’ compensation claim for serious injury, it is wise to work with a skilled lawyer who can answer your questions. You can avoid procedural obstacles and other issues that can delay your claim, result in partial benefits or lead to claim denial.

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